Festival of Cycling goes ahead as Santos Tour Down Under cancelled

Image credit: Tour Down Under

In a shocking blow to the state’s tourism industry, Santos Tour Down Under has been cancelled for a second time running as a direct result of the ripple effects of the pandemic. In its place, Santos Festival of Cycling will return to Victoria Park, transforming the city into a bustling cycling hub come January.

In a statement released today, official organisers cited ongoing border closures and quarantine restrictions for cyclists left them with no choice but to pull the pin on the beloved event.

With COVID claiming another event casualty, the state will lose the estimated $66 million revenue injected into the state’s economy and 742 accompanying jobs. The sudden loss of the thrill-seeking cycling event comes as Australia continues to grapple with soaring COVID cases in the Eastern states.

“The Santos Tour Down Under is a much-loved event on the world cycling and Australian sporting calendar and an important economic driver for South Australia,” said Events South Australia Executive Director Hitaf Rasheed.

“We have fully explored all avenues, but unfortunately in the end it was the border closures and quarantine requirements for more than 400 people that make up the international teams that proved to still be too difficult to overcome.”

Santos Festival of Cycling will run in place of the Santos Tour Down Under, showcasing Australia’s best cycling guns across an array of biking disciplines including road, track, BMX and para-cycling. The exciting event will replace the men’s UCI World Tour race and the women’s pro races, still retaining an elite profile in the cycling world.

Highlighting the best of South Australia through the lens of various disciplines, the Santos Festival of Cycling will offer an exciting program of racing across multiple regions as well as an activity-packed CBD hub in Victoria Park/Pakapakanthi.

“The Santos Festival of Cycling is the perfect opportunity to not only showcase some of our best athletes but to tap into Australia’s enduring and growing passion for recreational cycling in all its forms,” says Festival Race Directors Stuart O’Grady and Kimberley Conte.

“Adelaide in January is all about cycling and our cycling friends from all around Australia gathering here. Although international major events continue to be challenging, we will celebrate cycling in January 2022 in the best way we know how and welcome visitors to Adelaide once again to kick off the new year,” said Premier Steven Marshall.

“South Australia’s ability to host COVID-Safe major events, including Santos Festival of Cycling, brings substantial economic benefit and employment opportunities to the state, as well as showcasing stunning views of South Australia to the world.”

The Santos Tour Down Under has been postponed to 2023.

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